Microglia and its phagocytic abilities.

Mami Noda

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Abstract. Microglia has similar phagocytic property as
that of macrophage, though the origin of the cells is different.
Nevertheless, microglial cells are the professional phagocytes
of the central nervous system (CNS) tissue. Their function is
important for the normal brain, during brain development, and in
pathology and regeneration, taking multi-step processes. Dead
cells must be quickly removed to avoid the further toxic effects they
exert in the parenchyma, suggesting the necessity of the efficiency
of microglial phagocytosis in neurodegenerative and neurological
disorders. Microglial cells are also known to phagocytose
molecules and debris such as myelin or amyloid deposits. As
another function of microglia phagocytosis, microglial cells play
a specific role in removing apoptotic cells and pruning synapses
during development. In this review, microglial phagocytosis, as
one of the characteristic feature of immune cells, and possible
factors regulating microglial phagocytosis are summarized. In
addition, it is proposed to be a potential candidate as a therapeutic
target for neurodegenerative diseases or age-related microglial
dysfunction (2 figs, bibliography: 90 refs).
Original languageEnglish
Article number22(1)
Pages (from-to)11-18
Number of pages8
Journal Clinical Pathophysiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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